Entrepreneurs are my favorite kind of people.
They are passionate about what they do and are filled with exciting new ideas to implement. They keep up with the trends and are involved with life on many different levels. You can find them volunteering at a non-profit or giving free talks at a startup conference. Entrepreneurs are fun people to know.
However, the same traits that inspire an entrepreneur toward doing their own thing can also be their downfall.
For instance, “John” came to me with an idea for a tagline. I created several ideas for him and finally, he chose one.
“I really like this one,” he said intently. “‘Go With the Flow’ is great for my plumbing business!”
I helped him create his business cards and stationery. Then I saw him one month later and he handed me a business card. Under the logo was a new tagline, “We Unclog Life’s Little Problems.” I raised a questioning eyebrow. “Hmm… new tagline?”
John grinned. “Yeah, isn’t it cool? My ten-year old daughter thought it up! It’s cute, huh?”
Well, sure. However John ran into a common mistake for many entrepreneurs.
A lack of consistency.
When you’re starting a business, you’re going to have all sort of ideas. And you’ll likely give those ideas to your graphic designer and a marketer, if you work with them. But here’s the deal — at some point you’re going to have to choose a specific design, a specific tagline, a specific set of services.
If you don’t want to be lost in the noise, here are 3 ways to add consistency:
#1 Use your tagline with all of your digital marketing collateral.
Choose your logo and tagline carefully. Once you do, stay put. A constant change of your logo and tagline will dilute your brand. People won’t remember you because you’re changing it up all the time. Stay with both for at least one year before changing again.
This includes your email signature line, your website header, and any digital products you create. The more places you put your logo and tagline, the stronger your brand will be. Again — you want to make it easy for people to remember you. Michael Port did this at the beginning of his career as a business coach. “The Guy to Call When You’re Tired of Thinking Small.” In fact, if you Google that exact phrase, the very first name that comes up is his. That didn’t happen overnight. It happened because he was consistent with his brand.
#2 Make sure your brand matches what you offer.
If you’re advertising your services as being easy, then don’t give complicated and in-depth instructions to your customer. Everything about your business should consistently align itself to that claim — from having an easy-to-navigate website to clear and simple instructions. You want your customer to have a consistent experience with your business every step of the way.
Mailchimp is a great example of this. They promote their brand as being easy to use and helpful. Their list of resource guides reinforces this brand message by providing expert instruction on email marketing.
#3 Use color to be memorable.
This is an area many entrepreneurs don’t think about because they figure a logo and tagline is enough. Your graphic designer should work with you also on choosing either one or two colors that will make your brand stand out. For example, Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert, dominates her pages with her signature blue color. This color is consistently shown on her website, on her Facebook page, and even on her! After meeting the bubbly Mari Smith, it’s no wonder that they will associate that happy color of blue with her in the future.
When you don’t present a consistent image to the world, the world will forget you. We have too many messages coming through our computer screens and mobile devices on a daily basis. The only way you’ll be remembered is if you consistently communicate your brand.